Exploring the faces of a nation


This October Tasmanians will be able to experience a series of nationally recongised works right at their doorstep.  

Curated by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize celebrates 100 years of Australia’s oldest and most-loved portrait award, while reflecting upon the changing face of our nation.  

As one of only eight national venues, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery will be the exclusive destination for the exhibition while in Tasmania; marking the first time works from the Prize have toured to the state.  

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the exhibition was a drawcard for locals and visitors of Tasmania. 

"This exhibition is a must-see for all ages while on display in Launceston," Cr Van Zetten said.  

"It's brilliant to see Launceston featured as one of eight national destinations for this exhibition tour, and to have QVMAG as the exclusive venue for Tasmania."

General Manager of Creative Arts and Cultural Services Shane Fitzgerald said the tour of this exhibition to QVMAG was a milestone moment, not only for the institution but for the entire state.   

"To welcome a selection of works to Tasmania from one of our nation’s most iconic art prizes—for the first time—is a momentous occasion," Fitzgerald said.   

"With works representing a century of submissions to the Archibald Prize, this exhibition explores a range of incredible portraiture works from prominent and emerging artists across Australia and New Zealand.   

"I encourage all Tasmanians to make the most of this landmark exhibition visiting our state. It’s certainly one not to be missed."  

Arranged thematically, Archie 100 delves into the controversies and the commonplace, the triumphant and the thwarted, and honours the artists who have made the Archibald Prize the most sought-after accolade in Australian art today.  

The Art Gallery of New South Wales exhibition curator Natalie Wilson said Archie 100 includes portraits by a wide range of artists from across Australia and New Zealand and from every decade of the prize.  

"Each portrait selected for Archie 100 offers an exciting glimpse into a specific moment in time. Together, these works uncover changes in society in engaging ways, enabling people to experience how artistic styles and approaches to portraiture have changed over time," said Wilson.  

"Visitors can expect to see and discover stories of renowned portraits of identities from the past century, magnificent portraits of intriguing characters whose names have today been forgotten, and works that have not been seen in public since first being exhibited in the Archibald Prize."  

First awarded in 1921, the Archibald Prize was established following a bequest from former Art Gallery of NSW trustee and founder of The Bulletin magazine, JF Archibald (1856-1919), whose aim was to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians.  

The open competition, which is judged by the trustees of the Gallery, has been awarded annually (with two exceptions: 1964 and 1980) to the best portrait, 'preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in arts, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’.  

Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize will be on display at the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk (2 Invermay Road, Invermay) from 22 October 2022 to 8 January 2023.  

This is a ticketed exhibition, with ticket sales available via the QVMAG Eventbrite page and on-site at the Museum at Inveresk.  

Issued Friday 21 October 2022.

QVMAG Archie 100 A Century of the Archibald Prize Tasmania Tour Partners and Sponsors